Correlation of Mother’s Knowledge on Child Nutrition, Feeding Practices and Nutritional Status of Children in Karnataka, India: A Cross-sectional Study
Dr. Priya Reshma Aranha,
Associate Professor, Department of Child Health Nursing, Yenepoya Nursing College, Yenepoya Deemed to be University, Mangaluru, Karnataka, India.
Introduction: Malnutrition is a critical health problem in many countries, including India. The main reason for this is incorrect dietary habits that lead to illness and infections in early childhood. Inadequate food intake can hinder the growth and development of children. Childhood malnutrition can impair psychological and intellectual development, which can subsequently result in low school performance and behavioural disturbances. Therefore, child nutrition is of utmost importance. The knowledge and feeding practices of mothers can significantly influence child nutrition. Hence, it is essential to study the knowledge, feeding practices, and nutritional status of children as influenced by their mothers.
Aim: To was to determine the correlation between the knowledge of mothers regarding child nutrition, their feeding practices, and the nutritional status of children.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional correlational study was conducted in a 1050-bed multispecialty tertiary care hospital in Mangaluru, Karnataka, India, from December 30, 2021, to August 30, 2022. A total of 150 children under the age of five, visiting the hospital accompanied by their mothers, were selected as study participants using a non probability convenience sampling technique. Data was collected using a demographic proforma, a structured knowledge questionnaire on child nutrition, a structured checklist on feeding practices, and anthropometric measurements of children, which were taken using a digital weighing scale and stadiometer. Descriptive statistics including mean, frequency, percentage, Karl Pearson’s correlation coefficient, and World Health Organisation (WHO) Anthro software were used for statistical analysis.
Results: The majority of the study participants, 96 (64%), had average knowledge regarding child nutrition, while all of them had good child feeding practices. Regarding the nutritional status of the children, the majority fell under the normal category based on weight for height (123, 82%), weight for age (118, 78.67%), and height for age (104, 69.33%). The study also revealed a significant correlation between the knowledge of mothers, feeding practices, and nutritional status of children (p-value <0.05).
Conclusion: The study concluded that although majority of the study participants had a normal nutritional status and their mothers had average knowledge, regular awareness programs could be conducted, and the nutritional status of children needs to be regularly monitored.